Last Updated on June 6, 2021
You might be wondering, can sewing machines sew leather? In this article we will discuss how to use your sewing machine to sew leather without it becoming too difficult or frustrating.
Can Sewing Machines Sew Leather?
The answer is yes! Sewing machines can sew a variety of materials including leather. However, sewing leather requires special sewing techniques and tools to prevent the material from stretching out or fraying. Here’s how to do it.
How to sew leather on your regular home sewing machine
To sew leather on your sewing machine, you’ll need a specialty needle. Buy a leather needle for best results. If you don’t want to spend the money on a leather needle, make sure you at least use a heavy needle size.
The most important thing to remember when sewing leather with a regular home sewing machine is to always avoid using any kind of fabric stabilizer or interfacing unless it has been specifically designed for leather. Otherwise, the material will stretch out because of its stiffness and thickness rather than hold its shape so it can’t be sewn correctly without these extra layers between the two fabrics.
– When sewing on a home sewing machine, it is always best to sew from the back side of the leather for two reasons. First off, this will protect against any unsightly scratches or tears in the material when going through with your needle and thread. Secondly, if you are using an all purpose/zigzag stitch (which should be used for most seams), you will not have puckers that can affect how flat the seam lays on top of one another.
– Always use plenty of pins to secure both layers together before cutting out patterns and trimming excess fabric away since these types of fabrics don’t usually fray at their edges like woven fabrics do.
Tips for sewing leather on regular home sewing machine
– Sewing needles: use a heavy needle size to sew through tough materials like leather. These heavier needles have blunt points that will not pierce the fabric and create holes in your work. You can also buy needles made specifically for leather called “leather needles”.
– Foot: when using zigzag stitches on thick pieces of material you may need to increase the tension on the foot pedal so it doesn’t slip across while sewing. You can also opt for an all purpose presser foot which is designed specifically for thicker materials and has higher pressure point than other types of feet available, this helps prevent slipping during stitching procedures. The downside about these feet is they don’t come with many adjustments for a sewing machine.
– Needle threader: you can use needle threaders or tape to get the stitches started in order for them not to break.
– Pressing and stitching leather seams together is often done by hand due to stiffness of materials making it difficult for your sewing machine. This method will take some time but when finished, there are no visible seam lines on your work, which makes this process worth doing more than once.
– Paper pattern adjustments may need to be made if using a paper stencil template as these templates have been designed around fabric material that stretch easier than leather does so they may need adjusting before being traced onto the raw piece of hide.
What types of leather can you use with a regular home sewing machine?
There are a few different types of leather that work well in a sewing machine. Namely, vegetable and chrome tanned leather. These two types will work with the standard sewing machine because they have been specifically designed to not stretch as easily or quickly when sewn together.
Light weight leathers like vinyl, suede, and nubuck usually cannot be sewn by machines because they often cause issues- like wrinkles at joints- due to their inability to lay flat during stitching.”
Vegetable Tanned Leather: This type is created by tanning animal hides using natural materials such as tree bark (as opposed to chemicals). It has more texture than Chrome Tanning which makes it easier for this material to grip a needle.
Chrome Tanned Leather: This type is created by tanning animal hides using the use of chemicals, and it can be made from any animal skin such as cowhide or goat hide. It has a smooth texture and does not have much grain- which makes sewing more difficult for this material.
What types of thread should I use for sewing leather with my regular home sewing machine?
-The type of sewing machine thread you should use to stitch together leather will depend on the thickness and texture of your material.
-For example, if you are stitching two pieces of thin leather or vinyl onto a bag for some style flair, then something like regular polyester sewing thread would work well. But if you’re working with thicker hides that need strong stitches, such as cowhides that have been tanned in order to be used in furniture upholstery, then it’s best to use heavy duty needles and waxed linen threads made specifically for leather crafting.